100s of Christmas Charades ideas! From songs to movies, books to icons, and even fiendishly tricky words for the charades’ connoisseurs, we’ve got your festive game sorted.
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Girl with Santa Hat standing by Christmas tree in front of fireplace with garland acting out a Christmas charades clue for family sitting around on chairs and sofa facing her.
Fancy a game of Christmas charades?  We’ve got you!  Here’s more festive charades ideas than you’ve got Christmas lights for your tree!  From kids’ Christmas charades to Christmas song charades, Christmas movies ideas, and even some fiendishly difficult ones … we’ve got heaps of Christmas charades list ideas for you.  And, as well as all the Christmas charades lists, we’ve also created a free printable 80-card charade game set, ready to download and use. 
Which do you prefer? Using a specific theme for your charades game cards, or having a selection of songs, movies, characters, etc. all mixed in together.

We’ve gathered ideas for each of the following:

  • Christmas Song Charades
  • Christmas Movie Charades
  • Christmas Book Charades
  • Christmas Character Charades
  • Christmas Activity Charades For Kids
  • Christmas Icons Charades
  • Difficult Christmas Charades Words

Scroll down for all the details and free printable Christmas charades cards.

Christmas Song Charades

There’s so many fabulous song and carol titles that work brilliantly as Christmas Charades ideas.  It’s just trying to make sure they don’t all have “Christmas” in the title otherwise it’ll get rather repetitive.

Here’s some of our favourites.  We’ve included all of these ones in our free Christmas charades game set – download for free at the bottom of the post (perfect for family game nights!).

  1. Santa Baby
  2. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  3. White Christmas
  4. All I Want For Christmas Is You
  5. Deck The Halls
  6. Sleigh Ride
  7. Step Into Christmas
  8. Silent Night
  9. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  10. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
  11. Winter Wonderland
  12. Run Rudolph Run
  13. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
  14. Walking In The Air
  15. Driving Home For Christmas
  16. I Saw Three Ships
  17. Frosty The Snowman
  18. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
  19. Do They Know It’s Christmas?
  20. Jingle Bell Rock
  21. The Little Drummer Boy
  22. Do You Hear What I Hear?
  23. Last Christmas
  24. The Twelve Days Of Christmas
  25. Fairytale Of New York
  26. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
  27. Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Even More Song & Carol Charade Ideas

If you’re in the mood to play just Christmas Song Charades, check out our complete list of 74 song and carol charade ideas (with free printable cards) – there’s some really tricky ones to challenge you too.

Christmas Movie Charades

Want to try a classic game of charades based on your favourite Christmas movies?  Here’s 30 festive movie titles to try.

  1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  2. Arthur Christmas
  3. Bad Santa
  4. Deck The Halls
  5. Die Hard
  6. Elf
  7. Get Santa
  8. Happiest Season
  9. Holiday Inn
  10. Home Alone
  11. It’s A Wonderful Life
  12. Jack Frost
  13. Jingle All The Way
  14. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
  15. Last Christmas
  16. Love Actually
  17. Miracle On 34th Street
  18. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  19. Nativity!
  20. Santa Paws
  21. The Christmas Chronicles
  22. The Grinch
  23. The Holiday
  24. The Muppet Christmas Carol
  25. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  26. The Polar Express
  27. The Santa Clause
  28. The Snowman
  29. Trading Places
  30. White Christmas

Christmas Book Charades

What about ideas for Christmas book charades?  We’ve gathered 15 of our favourite ideas.  Again, we’ve tried to cover a range of classic titles but also a mixture of words to avoid too much repetition of the same few words.

  1. A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
  2. How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (Dr Seuss)
  3. One Snowy Night (Nick Butterworth)
  4. The Night Before Christmas (Clement Clarke Moore)
  5. The Polar Express (Chris Van Allsburg)
  6. The Snowman (Raymond Briggs)
  7. Letters From Father Christmas (R.R. Tolkien)
  8. A Boy Called Christmas (Matt Haig)
  9. The Nutcracker And The Mouse King (T.A. Hoffmann)
  10. A Christmas Memory (Truman Capote)
  11. The Fir-Tree (Hans Christian Andersen)
  12. The Christmasarus (Tom Fletcher)
  13. Dear Santa (Rod Campbell)
  14. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
  15. The Jolly Christmas Postman (Janet and Allan Ahlberg)

Christmas Character Charades

It can be really good fun acting out your favourite Christmas character charades!  If you need a little help thinking of festive characters to include, try these:

  1. Belsnickel
  2. Blitzen
  3. Bob Cratchit
  4. Buddy The Elf
  5. Cindy Lou Who
  6. Clarence (the Angel)
  7. Clark Griswold
  8. Comet
  9. Cupid
  10. Dancer
  11. Dasher
  12. Donner
  13. Ebenezer Scrooge
  14. Elf On The Shelf
  15. Frosty The Snowman
  16. George Bailey
  17. Gingerbread Man
  18. Jack Frost
  19. Jack Skellington
  20. John McClane (Die Hard)
  21. Kevin McCallister
  22. Krampus
  23. Little Drummer Boy
  24. Mrs Claus
  25. Nutcracker Doll
  26. Prancer
  27. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
  28. Santa Claus
  29. Sugar Plum Fairy
  30. The Ghost Of Christmas Future
  31. The Ghost Of Christmas Past
  32. The Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come
  33. The Grinch
  34. Tiny Tim
  35. Vixen

Christmas Activity Charades For Kids

Want to tailor your Christmas charades game to a younger audience?  Acting out Christmas activities can be a perfect way to do so.   We’ve got so many holiday-themed phrases for you to try that we’ve created a separate charades game just for the kids.  To give you a flavour, here’s some fun Christmas activity charade ideas for kids of all ages to try.  A great option for end of term holiday parties in school and youth groups.

  1. Decorating a Christmas tree
  2. Building a snowman
  3. Opening an advent calendar
  4. Hanging up the stockings
  5. Having a snowball fight
  6. Wrapping a present
  7. Riding in Santa’s sleigh
  8. Pulling a Christmas cracker
  9. Drinking hot chocolate
  10. Singing a Christmas carol
  11. Lighting a candle
  12. Going ice skating

For more Christmas activity ideas for charades plus our free printable set of cards, head to our Christmas Charades for Kids.

Christmas Icons Charades


Another Charades version that we think would be brilliant for younger players…  Rather than going down the song/movie/book route, or festive activities, players can act out a selection of Christmas icons.  And there’s certainly no shortage of Christmas things to use for ideas. 

Here’s a few fun ideas below but we’ve gathered a whooping 53 suggestions to try.  You could mix and match with Christmas activity charades or just use the complete list of Christmas things.

  • Christmas Tree
  • Advent Calendar
  • Stocking
  • Reindeer
  • Sleigh
  • Christmas Cracker
  • Star
  • Snowman
  • Bell
  • Candy Cane

25 Difficult Christmas Charades Words 


Feeling in a mischievous mood?  Or prepping a game for some charade connoisseurs?  We’ve put together a selection of particularly difficult Christmas charade song and movie ideas for you to slip into the mix!  Of course, it’s just our humble opinion that these are tricky.  So, if you think they are too easy or have other fiendish charade ideas, do share your thoughts in the comments below.

  1. Auld Lang Syne (song)
  2. Believe (song)
  3. Belsnickel (character)
  4. Billy Mack (character)
  5. Cinnamon (icon)
  6. Cloves (icon)
  7. Coventry Carol (song)
  8. Feliz Navidad (song)
  9. Gremlins (movie)
  10. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (song)
  11. In Dulci Jubilo (song)
  12. In The Bleak Mid-Winter (song)
  13. Klaus (movie)
  14. Krampus (movie / character)
  15. Kris Kringle (character)
  16. Mary’s Boy Child (song)
  17. Meet Me In St Louis (movie)
  18. Mele Kalikimaka (song)
  19. O Come All Ye Faithful (song)
  20. Pinecone (icon)
  21. Poinsettia (icon)
  22. Scrooged (movie)
  23. Spirited (movie)
  24. Stop The Cavalry (song)
  25. Susan Walker (character)

Download Your Free Printable Christmas Charades

We’ve created a collection of 80 charade ideas for you to use.  Download now for your instant free printable Christmas charades game!  Print on white card stock to make them more durable.  Or if you want them to really stand the test of time, you could laminate them too.

We’ve included a selection of different categories: movies, songs, books, plays, and characters, each of which is marked on the card.  There’s also a page of blank cards included for you to your own ideas and create your perfect game.  

How To Play Charades

Surely the OG of all Christmas games, charades is the perfect choice for larger groups and team play.   It’s an easy activity that doesn’t take a lot of preparation and works for everyone from younger children to the local youth group, office Christmas parties and multi-generation family get-togethers.

  • Prep the cards. Download, print out on white cardstock and cut up to create the individual cards.  Alternatively, get each player to come up with a few ideas, writing each one on a separate slip of paper.  Fold each piece of paper / card in half and pop them into a bowl or hat.
  • Split into two teams.  Decide which team is going first.
  • Choose the starting team. First player in that team takes a card and acts out whatever is on it within a set amount of time.  NO speaking, mouthing out words, writing, drawing or use of props.
  • Guess the name.  If the rest of their team guesses correctly within the timeframe, they get a point.
  • Continue onto the next player.  Play then switches to the other team’s first player, with a new card and timer restarted from zero.  Then back to the next player in the first team, and so on and so forth.
  • Ending the game.  Keep going until all the cards have been used.  At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins.

How Long To Set The Timer

We find a timer of one minute works well. However, you can easily adjust that up or down to suit your group of people playing. 

An alternative way to play is to set a timer for longer, say 90 seconds – 3 minutes, and see how many charade cards the team can get through before play passes to the other team.


Categories and Gestures

Charades can be played with any group of words, phrases, or activities you wish. However, often you’re acting out books, songs, movies, plays or characters.  Each of these has their own gesture to help the team guess. 

  • Person or Character. Stand tall with your hands on your hips.
  • Book. Hands out together in front of you with palms together like a shark fin, open palms away from each other as if opening a book.
  • Movie. One hand out in front in a fist (acting as an old movie camera) whilst the other moves in small circles next to it (pretending to turn the wheel of the camera).
  • Theatre Performance. Index fingers together, draw them apart in the shape of open theatre curtains, across and down.
  • Song. Hand up in loose fist to mouth, pretending to be a microphone.

In addition, there are various charade gestures / signals that can be used to act out certain common words or break the item down into words and even syllables. 

Will you be playing charades this year?  It’s a great game for the Christmas season, whether for family holiday gatherings, the office Christmas party, small groups of friends or end of term classroom ideas.  There’s charade game ideas that work for every group and festive occasion!  Need more activity inspiration?  We’ve got lots of fun games for you to try this holiday season.